Chicken Tikka Masala: the spicy recipe for a popular Indian chicken dish

Total time: 40 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 6 people
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By Cookist
Chicken breast
1 kg (2 lb)
canned whole tomatoes
400 g (14 oz)
Fresh cream
200 ml (3/4 cup)
8 tbsp
tikka masala spices
6 tsp
onion, minced

Chicken Tikka Masala is a popular Indian recipe. It usually consists of tender chicken marinated in a mixture of spices and yogurt and a creamy tomato sauce. It’s a popular dish around the world and you will find it in most restaurants. In fact, in Britain, it’s the second-most popular foreign dish to cook (after Chinese stir fry).

Once you this Chicken Masala recipe, you’d never want to get it from a takeout joint again. It’s quick, easy, and so spicy delicious! Each bite if full of flavor, and you can also adjust the heat as you like. Your guests will think you spent hours in the kitchen, but they will be none the wiser!


Chicken Tikka Masala Ingredients

Chicken breast – we used lean chicken breast in this recipe. Because the meat is marinated in yogurt, it doesn’t get dry easily. If you want you can also use chicken thighs with skin removed.

Cream – use full-fat cream to prevent curdling

Yogurt – use full-fat, plain yogurt for best results.

Tikka Masala – use store-bought Tikka Masala spice or make your own: blend 1 Tbsp ground coriander, 1 ½ Tbsp ground paprika, ¼ tsp ground turmeric,, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 1 tsp ground cumin, salt and pepper.

Canned tomato – used chopped or whole canned tomato. The mixture will be blended to a smooth consistency. If you want to leave it somewhat chunky, use chopped canned tomato and skip the blending step at the end.

How To Make Chicken Tikka Masala

Start by marinating the chicken breast with yogurt and spices for an hour up to overnight. Cook in a preheated pan, until the chicken is browned on both sides and no longer pink in the middle. Set aside while you prepare the sauce.

Cook the onions with the spices. Add the tomato and cream and cook for about 5 minutes. Blend with a hand blender. At this stage, you can leave the sauce chunky if you want and just break up large pieces of tomato with a wooden spoon.

Chop the chicken and add to the tomato-cream mixture. Stir and serve.

What To Serve With Chicken Tikka Masala

Serve the Chicken Tikka Masala with basmati rice, chopped cucumber, and naan bread. Bread is essential to mop up the yummy juices!


Let the chicken to rest for 5-10 minutes before you cut into it. This allows the juices to redistribute throughout the meat, resulting in more juiciness.

You can chop the chicken anyway you want. Slice it neatly or shred it with a fork.

To make this in a slow cooker, add all the ingredients to the pot, except for the yogurt. Cook on high for 3 hours, then stir in the yogurt and cream, and heat up.

You can use coconut cream or coconut milk instead of cream. The results wont be as creamy, though!

How To Store Chicken Tikka Masala

Store leftovers in an airtight container (in the fridge) for up to 3 days. Reheat in the microwave before serving.


Place the chicken breasts on a large baking sheet.

Sprinkle with the spice mixture.

Spread yogurt on top of the chicken breast.

Let it rest for an hour up to overnight.

Cook in a preheated pan and fry until brown on both sides and full cooked on the inside.

Chop the chicken and set aside.

In a pan over medium heat, cook the onion with the butter or oil. Add the spices.

Add the tomatoes and cream.

Cook for about 5 minutes, then blend with a stick blender until smooth.

Add the cooked chicken and stir to combine.

Sprinkle with parsley and serve.


Use a thermometer to check that the internal temperature of the chicken reaches 165°F.

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